12:30pm PT by Philiana Ng
FX Orders Billy Crystal's 'The Comedians' to Series
Billy Crystal is returning to television.
FX has given a series order to the half-hour The Comedians, it was announced Wednesday by Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, presidents of original programming for FX Networks and FX Productions. The 13-episode single-camera comedy debuts in 2015.
In The Comedians, Crystal plays a superstar veteran comedian who is reluctantly paired with Josh Gad, an edgier up-and-coming star, in an unfiltered, behind-the-scenes look at a late-night sketch comedy show where egos and generations collide.
Stephnie Weir, Matt Oberg and Megan Ferguson co-star in the Fox Television Studios production. Executive producers and writers are Larry Charles, Matt Nix, Ben Wexler and Crystal, with Gad serving as producer. Charles directed the pilot.
“We’re incredibly excited about The Comedians and the fact that Billy Crystal will be making his return to series television on FX," said Grad. "The chemistry between Billy and Josh is amazing, and Larry, Matt, Ben and Billy did a fantastic job of making what is certain to become one of the best comedies on TV.”
The Comedians, based on a Swedish format, marks Crystal's first series regular role on TV since portraying Jodie Dallas on ABC's Soap, which ran from 1977-81.
The news comes after FX recently ordered two new comedies, Married with Nat Faxon and Judy Greer, and You're the Worst with Aya Cash and Chris Geere. They join a comedy slate on FX that includes Archer and Chozen, with sister network FXX's portfolio featuring It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, Wilfred, Legit and Ali G: Rezurection. FX and FXX have several comedy pilots in various stages, including projects from Denis Leary, Zach Galifianakis, Tracy Morgan, Charlie Kaufman, Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogen.